Iron ore exports from Goa may dip this season

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Panaji, Jan 13 (PTI) Ban on transportation of iron orefrom the neighbouring Karnataka and the truckers strike in Goais worrying the mining industry in the state as these factorsmight downscale the exports of iron ore for the ensuingseason.

Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA) predictsthe downfall to atleast 10 per cent considering the trend ofexports till December 2010.

The state has exported 28 million tonnes of ore tillDecember, which is much less compared to the seasonal expectedtotal of 53 MT.

Of the total 53 MT ore, 45 was from the 100 local miningleases while rest was transported from neighbouring Karnataka.

"Since last two months, there is a ban on transportationof ore from Karnataka. Also, local factors like strike bytruckers play a role in adding to the woes," GMOEA SecretaryGlen Kalavampara told PTI.

The truckers transporting the ore have suddenly struckthe work demanding higher rates for the transportation. Theissue currently is languishing with the stategovernment-constituted committee.

Kalavampara said the strike is likely to dent the exportsif it continues for more days.

Goa also faced prolonged monsoons which delayed theseason. The exporters feel that with the current pace, thebusiness is not looking too great.

"We are optimistic that the situation will improve,"Kalavampara said.

Although the season does not look bright for theexporters, the revised royalty on the ore has brought cheersfor the state treasury.

"We have collected Rs 536 crore as a royalty on the oreexports till December. We expect to beat the target of Rs 600crore as projected in the state budget," Arvind Lolienkar,Director Mines and Geology department, said. .

He said that the state has been reaping the benefits after central government ordered that royalty on exports ofore should be charged ad valorem from August, 2009.

The mining firms, however, has said that such a hugeroyalty is unfair.

Kalavampara said that there are some states where theroyalty is abnormally low. The mine owners feel that theroyalty should be charged as per grade of the ore.

"The ore with low grade hardly fetch any price afterexports. The royalty on that should be much compared to highergrade," Kalavampara said.

Goa government is non-committal on decreasing the royaltyamount as the issue comes in purview of central ministry.

State Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, however, who is alsoholding mining portfolio, is busy ensuring that the leakage inexport-related revenues are plugged.

Goa has made it compulsory for all the ships to get NoObjection Certificate (NOC) from the State Mines Departmentbefore consignment leaves the shore.

While Panaji Port has already started implementing this,state''s major port Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) is likely toimplement this from next month onwards.

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